Homepage Forums Cub Scouts New Program review

This topic contains 9 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Harlow 2 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #53619 Reply

    Dusty S

    So now that we’ve been with the new Cub Scouting program for a full year, how did your unit do?

    Ill admit I was a bit concerned with the changes, but I could also see how they aligned more towards the Boy Scout program if you see the similarities between Adventure loops and Merit Badges. The new Den Leader book made planning a meeting or program pretty simple and when combining it with Scoutbook, made tracking and advancements easy. I was able to recruit more parent involvement since the program was a lot less confusing than beads and arrowheads.

    The boys really didn’t know the difference unless they had an older sibling who already went through the old program. They had a great time earning the new Adventure Loops.

    The Pack saw a dramatic decrease in how many loops we were purchasing each month, which I’m on the fence about. Of course it saves Packs money, but the boys loved earning a ton of loops. The new ones took longer to earn than the old program. In the end, there were no complaints about lack of awards.

    Lastly, I think when Scoutbook gets the ‘alternate’ or related awards fixed, it will make me a more efficient Leader. Its very handy to know that they could be earning the World Conservation Award at the same time they earn the Grow Something loop, etc. The lesser known awards you just need to know about or you may miss them.

    In the end, we had a great program year and the Boys had fun. Since there was so much to do about changing the program, I was curious as to how your mileage may have varied?


  • #53831 Reply

    Diane Z

    The boys loved earning their belt-loops and pins. It seemed to take longer than 3 meetings to earn each belt loop/pin, though. At the end of May, only about half have completed requirements toward rank. We are giving the ones not finished extra time. Going to address that in the annual planning meeting & step up the pace next year.

    We had a combined Bear-Webeos den (3 Bears, 1 4t grade Webelos), which was a challenge to come up with den meeting plans to meet requirements for both levels. It will be the same next year – with one den for 4th & 5th grade.

    Looking forward to that “related awards” link on Scoutbook. I did something like that – made a chart that linked related adventures, and the In-step links on the Sam Houston Council website is another resource for finding “theme related” adventures.

  • #53916 Reply

    Dusty S

    Yeah I could see how a combined Den would present a complex set of challenges. We tried to keep with the Den Leaders Guide as far as meeting were concerned, but we meet twice a month, not three times as the guides were planned for. We had to do some creative planning on several occasions.

  • #55167 Reply


    I think the new requirements were a bit too one-size-fits-all. Plus, they were a lot more work to get through. I felt like we spent the whole year trying to get through the advancements, which left no time to do the fun, extra activities we like to do (i.e. belt loops) but don’t lead to advancement.

    In the past when I was a den leader, we worked the requirements and about around the time of Blue Gold, we had the flexibility to just do fun stuff and earn a few belt loops. That worked well since a lot of the kids started baseball in the spring and they moved on to other activities. It was hard to get the full group together. Now, to get through the requirements, we pretty much need every kid at every meeting throughout the year, which is pretty much impossible, not to mention unpleasant.

    Overall, I think the objectives were fine. I don’t think we need to go back to the “old way” but the new requirements could use some tweaking. They could easily be modified to allow more flexibility. For example, our den is a high-energy den (i.e. lots of kids with attention and control problems). The idea that they would sit through a Pack Committee meeting to present a plan for improving the community is ridiculous. Instead, give us the option to go out and actually do something active to improve the community — the lesson is the same but the means are more suited to our group.

    At first, my assistant and I tried to stick with the program but we could tell we were losing a lot of interest. After a lot of negative comments from the parents and no-shows among the scouts, we altered the program to embrace the “spirit” of the objective and not follow the objective 100%. We came up with creative ways to mimic the requirements, but still make them engaging for the kids.

    Ultimately, we’ll live with the requirements but I just wish there was a little more flexibility in attaining them.

  • #56428 Reply


    We had a great time with the new program. The Scouts were more engaged and it really tied into what they do in school and Scouts. We had more Scouts complete their rank in time than ever before, with numerous electives and NOVA. We meet for Den meetings 3x a month, and have 1 pack meeting 1x a month…

    I found it important to combine some of the activities in the leader guides. Adventures in Coins can be done in 2, 1 hour den meetings easily if you plan ahead. It really did not need 3, 1 hour meetings.

  • #56685 Reply

    Christina Anderson

    I’ve been a leader since Tiger and my boys are now starting their second year of Webelos –> earning Arrow of Light.

    The Webelos & Arrow of Light rank requirements are great! I love that we get out more. I know some folks were concerned with Duty to God. I just handled it in a non-denominational manner. We talked a lot about putting our faith into practice and recorded ways that we did our “duty to God” through good deeds etc.

    Last year, we held every meeting outside (no matter the weather) and we live in New England. It taught the boy to dress for the weather and prepare for Klondike. We hiked & cooked – had a fire at most every meeting. We planned a campout around the Castaway Adventure and the boys said it was the best weekend EVER!

    This year, I have most everything planned out for the AOL Rank requirements, but every time I flip through the book for a nice, light adventure to work on, I feel over-whelmed. There are some good ones, don’t get me wrong, but lots of them…feel like school. Research this, present that. and then piles of other bitty things. It’s too much.

    My oldest son went through the previous program and I don’t remember it being so tedious. Maybe they didn’t do everything, I wasn’t a leader back then and didn’t pay as much attention.

    Right now, I am feeling like “doing our best” and having fun during our last year in the Pack, so I can’t imagine that I will follow the program to a “T”.

    One more note about the scouting program (past & present) that I’ve noticed.
    From the beginning, I was very diligent about following the program and doing ALL the requirements. I have had MANY kids drop out the first 2-3 years. Although I have 11 Webelos now, I only have 3 original Tigers…one being my son.

    The leader after me, loosely follows the program. It’s all fun and games and everyone makes rank. He has all of his original kids, plus some.

    I think the book should be a guide, I wish I found a better balance between requirements & fun sooner…

  • #57656 Reply

    Joe Ames

    Let me speak plainly:

    The new program is a farce. It is not recognizably “Cub Scouting” and certainly not a patriotic organization.

    At my boy’s first den meeting we were going to sing “America.” I told the boys to find it in their music requirement. You know, the one that’s been there since 1930 something?

    Not there.

    They are required to sing some idiocy called “The Germ Song” but not the National Anthem?

    I’m sorry the mothers posting here lack the experience and context to judge this so-called program. I was a Cub Scout. A real Cub Scout with memories and skills first learned in boyhood that persist to this day.

    As sure as the sun rises in the morning, this program will be dead, buried and forgetten before any of the boys suffering through it bury their parents and realize that traditional and heritage really are “that” important. I’m still not over the shock of this … this … garbage.

    BSA Inc ought to be mightily ashamed of themselves but they lack the character.

    • #57699 Reply


      At my boy’s first den meeting we were going to sing “America.” I told the boys to find it in their music requirement. You know, the one that’s been there since 1930 something?

      My son is now a Webelos (2) and I don’t recall a music requirement to sing America The Beautiful from any of his books.

      Perhaps such has been gone longer than you realize.

      A quick google search shows it in books from the 80s but the internet being what it is, I could not find any recent references to it, at least none this century.

      I did find this:


      “Scouts salute and sing “America,” “God Bless America,” or another patriotic song. (See the Cub Scout Songbook for ideas.)”


      I am sure scouts can survive though if they don’t sing this one song as much as they used to.

  • #57727 Reply


    I believe he is referring to Wolf Elective #11, Sing-A-Long.
    11a – Learn and sing the first and last verses of “America.”
    11b – Learn and sing the first verse of our National Anthem.

    Those electives were in the 2003 and 1998 edition of the Wolf handbook, as well as the revision prior, which I think was 1985-ish. I don’t have data prior to that.

    I would note that these aren’t requirements though, as they were for the arrow point electives. At no time was a Wolf Cub Scout required to learn or sing those songs unless he wanted to complete that elective. It was not rank required.

  • #58074 Reply


    I find that we get out LESS. New program is WAY more academic and less interesting.

    It was also way easier to do requirements as part of the fun activities.
    For example our district does an annual chariot race (card board box)that includes a theme and costume contest. The leaders were able to integrate many the requirements for using tools and mask making requirements. Now That those things have been taken out of the program the Chariot Race that the boys look forward to is an “extra thing” that the leaders have to “fit in” to their calendar.

    The boys are not excited about the carnival because they already do that at school. It should have been an elective.

    I loved the old Bear program with the option to choose from multiple options to complete a requirement, because when half the boys missed a den meeting because of a school function or sports you could do another activity from the options instead of repeating the same thing over again.

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